Event Date: 25 October 2011
The Ironbridge Institute
Ironbridge Gorge Museum
David de Haan – Access and Conservation – Part 1
Under the European Directives dealing with the fair and equal treatment of those who are physically and mentally impaired, all buildings open to the public have to provide access for these groups. This needs to be respectful of their human dignity as well as practical, i.e. you can’t just direct disabled people to a side or back door, for instance, leaving the main entrance for the general public. The legislation is, of course, a significant step forward in the recognition of the rights of the disabled and impaired but poses serious challenges for the conservation of sites, and especially buildings constructed in an age when there was little thought of peoples’ needs. How are such differences reconciled, and which legislation takes precedence? This lecture will examine these questions through case studies and demonstrate how imaginative approaches to the legislation can turn these concerns to everyone’s advantage.